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Nationals Vs. Pirates: Livan Hernandez Hopes His 450th Consecutive Start Is A Good One Against The Bucs

Washington Nationals starter Livan Hernandez (2-1, 2.88 ERA) will pitch in his 450th consecutive game Friday night at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he hopes to make it a good one that will have Washington back on the winning track. The 36-year old's streak started back in 1996 with the Florida Marlins, when he pitched his one relief appearance of his career. Since then, Hernandez has established himself as one of the sport's most willing and able workhorses.

Hernandez and a sputtering Nats offense will square off against Pittsburgh righty Jeff Karstens (1-0, 4.50 ERA), which might be a cure for the Nationals' offense ills of late. Karstens only lasted four innings in his last outing, giving up five runs on eight hits in a Pittsburgh win against the Cincinnati Reds. The Nationals are coming off a 5-0 shutout at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, so they will be looking to exploit any weakness, whether it's Karstens or a Bucs offense that has only been able to score seven runs in their last three games.

First pitch from the City That Clemente Built is at 7:05 p.m. EST.

Nationals Line-Up

1. Danny Espinosa, 2B

2. Rick Ankiel, CF

3. Jayson Werth, RF

4. Adam LaRoche, 1B

5. Wilson Ramos, C

6. Michael Morse, LF

7. Ian Desmond, SS

8. Jerry Hairston Jr. , 3B

9. Livan Hernandez, SP

Pirates Line-Up

1. Andrew McCutcheon, CF

2. Jose Tabata, LF

3. Lyle Overbay, 1B

4. Neil Walker, 2B

5. Garrett Jones, RF

6. Ryan Doumit, C

7. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

8. Ronny Cedeno, SS

9. Jeff Karstens, SP